Skip to comments.Report Says Hussein Was Open To Exile Before 2003 Invasion ($1 billion and information on WMD's)
Posted on 09/27/2007 12:03:51 PM PDT by bobsunshine
Less than a month before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein signaled that he was willing to go into exile as long as he could take with him $1 billion and information on weapons of mass destruction, according to a report of a Feb. 22, 2003, meeting between President Bush and his Spanish counterpart published by a Spanish newspaper yesterday.
The meeting at Bush's Texas ranch was a planning session for a final diplomatic push at the United Nations. The White House was preparing to introduce a tough new Security Council resolution to pressure Hussein, but most council members saw it as a ploy to gain their authorization for war.
Spain's prime minister at the time, Jose Maria Aznar, expressed hope that war might be avoided -- or at least supported by a U.N. majority -- and Bush said that outcome would be "the best solution for us" and "would also save us $50 billion," referring to the initial U.S. estimate of what the Iraq war would cost. But Bush made it clear in the meeting that he expected to "be in Baghdad at the end of March."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Key Point from Barcepundit (h/t MacRanger):
"Editor and Publisher has a machine translation, which is quite atrocious. If you can read Spanish, the full text is here....."
"If anything, the transcript proves precisely the opposing point that critics want to make. The conversation shows both Bush and Aznar trying to avoid war; that they were concerned of its human toll, and that Saddam wanted to flee with money... and WMD information. I guess all the people who are trumpeting this will stop saying now that Bush lied and mislead us on the WMD issue. Won't hold my breath, though.
At one point Bush explicitely says: "Yo no quiero la guerra. Sé lo que son las guerras. Sé la destrucción y la muerte que traen consigo. Yo soy el que tiene que consolar a las madres y a las viudas de los muertos. Por supuesto, para nosotros esa sería la mejor solución. Además, nos ahorraría 50.000 millones de dólares" ["I don't want war. I know what war is like. I know the death and destruction they bring. I am the one who has to comfort the mothers and wives of the dead. Of course, for us [a diplomatic solution] would be the best one. Also, it would save 50 billion dollars" -- again, my emphasis and translation]"
50 billion. haha. With the last appropriation bill its going to be over 600 billion. War just doesn’t work economically without the whole ‘spoils of war’ thing to finance it.
“There is more to this story than the Post is stating”
Well, there’s a shocker. ;)
National Geographics’ DVD “Inside Shock-n-Awe” goes over much of this.
This story has to be wrong. How could there be information on WMD when we all know that didn’t exist.
MSNBC / Washington Post report taken with a grain of salt.
But but but but there were no weapons of mass destruction, right???????
So he wanted us to let him go to another Muslim madhouse where WMDs could be manufactured for Terrorism. We were right to invade.
For $1B and sole possession of all incriminating evidence, pretty much anyone would do anything. I’d be happy to take that, go build a nice tropical island, and enjoy spending $27,000/day for the next hundred years.
“Yo no quiero la guerra. Sé lo que son las guerras. Sé la destrucción y la muerte que traen consigo. Yo soy el que tiene que consolar a las madres y a las viudas de los muertos. Por supuesto, para nosotros esa sería la mejor solución. Además, nos ahorraría 50.000 millones de dólares” [”I don’t want war. I know what war is like. I know the death and destruction they bring. I am the one who has to comfort the mothers and wives of the dead. Of course, for us [a diplomatic solution] would be the best one. Also, it would save 50 billion dollars” — again, my emphasis and translation]”
Is that you Baxter? You know I don’t speak spanish
Source for this claim please? Seems you are lumping in ALL the war appropriations and blaming it all on Iraq. That is intellectually dishonest.
Actually Bush told him to leave and gave him a countdown. Saddam wasn't too thrilled with being told to leave and I think that is what made Saddam stay.
The US Military saved us 1 Billion dollars!
Well this proves there were WMDs in the works. Now who would have graciously moved and locked away that evidence? Syria or or Syria? Recently, nuclear materials were headed somewhere inside of Syria. bah we’ve become a bunch of wimps.
It’s hard to find accurate figures for obvious reasons - much of the budget is reappropriated down the line, part of emergency spending or classified.
From what I’ve read, the war cost somewhere between $3-7 billion. The occupation/counterinsurgency is pushing $166 billion in mostly supplemental appropriations, but that isn’t taking into account reconstruction costs.
Honestly, it’s a mess. I’ve tried to research a figure for myself, but it is an accounting nightmare.
Any person that has a problem with us NOT negotiating with terrorists, does not understand our policy in this regard.
WE DO NOT pay blood money to despots, murderers, and terrorists!
Doing so would not only set a horrible precedent but it would only embolden the other “evil” leaders that seek ill-gotten rewards.
El Pais, a leading Spanish daily and a critic of the war, said the transcript of the conversation was prepared by Spain's ambassador to the United States, Javier Ruperez, who was at the meeting in Crawford. The newspaper did not say how it obtained the memo
Let see the memo may not exist, the memo may be being misquoted. The reporter may be cheery picking the facts and putting their own spin on it. The supposed claim may of been just a rumor. Saddam may of made the offer just as a delaying tactic etc etc etc etc
How many times are “conservatives” going to be suckered with these anonymous, unsourced claims by people with a transparent propaganda agenda? How many of these lies are “conservatives” going to buy into before they stop having this knee jerk faith in the Drive By media?
Let see, there was the “Bush is going wobbly on Iraq”, Bush is going to shut down Gitmo”, Downing Street Memo? Rathergate? The lies about Abu Grabe? The claims the US was “bogged won and cut off in Iraq” during the invasion. That US troops were unread to fight in Afghanistan? etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc
What is it going to take to get “conservative” to wake up to the fact that THESE people are your enemies. They are NOT to be trusted.Neither in what they claim nor in how they deliberately misquote their opponents to give the illusion of veracity.
this should be treated as enemy propoganda. During WWII those responsible would be in jail.
the current cost of the war in Iraq, to date, has been over 450 Billion $$$.
That is the amount in the supplementals thus granted, and does not include the Pentagon budget
Bush is requesting $189 billion in 2008
He was just playing a game of brinksmanship. All we had to do is give him a little more time, and negotiate a little harder.
“...Saddam Hussein signaled that he was willing to go into exile...”
I got a signal!
There were no WMD’s. The MSM, the left and the Democrats have so decreed, and the pre-war proclamations by the Clintons, Kerry, Kennedy and all of the members of Congress that recognized the threat of Hussein’s WMD’s have been washed away by the mantra of “Bush lied”. No facts, no truth and absloutely no evidence to the contrary of any nature whatsoever will change that. To the left, it’s a verity beyond reformation. Their minds are closed and no one’s at home.
But anyone who would believe that this was anything but a last-minute attempt to stop or at least disrupt the invasion would be an absolute fool.
Where would Saddam have gone??
His whole life and that of his family was based on Iraq.
If he did go somewhere else, this would only have become the headquarters for having his followers within Iraq wage war against the invading allies.
Yeah, if anyone told Bush $50 billion, they were complete idiots.
The critics need to go re-read Bush's 2002 State of the Union address. Every point is as valid now as it was then. The problem is the critics, with their welded shut minds, refuse to learn a single thing that does not validate their 09-10-01 political dogmas. They are stuck in denial.
One of the really infuriating things in modern politics is the level of disinformation, misinformation, demagoguery and out right lying going on about the mission in Iraq. Democrats have spent the last 3+ years lying about Iraq out of a political calculation. The assumption is that the natural isolationist mindset of the average American voter, linked to the inherent Anti Americanism (what is misnamed the “Anti War movement”) of the more feverish Democrat activists (especially those running the US’s National “News” media) would restore them to national political dominance. The truth is the Democrat Party Leadership has simply lacked the courage to speak truth to whiners. The truth is that even if Al Gore won the 2000 election and 09-11 still happened we would be doing the EXACT same things in Iraq we are doing now.
Based on the political situation in the region left over from the 1991 Gulf War plus the domestic political consensus built up in BOTH parties since 1991 as well as fundamental military strategic laws, there was NO viable strategic choice for the US but to take out Iraq after finishing the initial operations in Afghanistan.
To start with Saddam’s Iraq was our most immediate threat. We could NOT commit significant military forces to another battle with Saddam hovering undefeated on our flank nor could we leave significant forces watching Saddam. The political containment of Iraq was breaking down. That what Oil for Food was all about. Oil for Food was an attempt by Iraq to break out of it’s diplomatic isolation and slip the shackles the UN Sanctions put on it’s military. There there was the US Strategic position to consider.
The War on Islamic Fascism is different sort of war. in facing this Asymmetrical threat, we have a hidden foe, spread out across a geographically diverse area, with covert sources of supply. Since we cannot go everywhere they hide out, in fact often cannot even locate them until the engage us, we need to draw them out of hiding into a kill zone.
Iraq is that kill zone. That is the true brilliance of the Iraq strategy. We draw the terrorists out of their world wide hiding places onto a battlefield they have to fight on for political reasons (The “Holy” soil of the Arabian peninsula) where they have to pit their weakest ability (Conventional Military combat power) against our greatest strength (ability to call down unbelievable amounts of firepower) where they will primarily have to fight other forces (the Iraqi Security forces) in a battlefield that is mostly neutral in terms of guerrilla warfare. (Iraqi-mostly open terrain as opposed to guerrilla friendly areas like the mountains of Afghanistan or the jungles of SE Asia).
Did any of the critics of liberating Iraq ever look at a map? Iraq, for which we had the political, legal and moral justifications to attack, is the strategic high ground of the Middle East. A Geographic barrier that severs ground communication between Iran and Syria apart as well as providing another front of attack in either state or into Saudi Arabia if needed.
There were other reasons to do Iraq but here is the strategic military reason we are in Iraq. We have taken, an maintain the initiative from the Terrorists. They are playing OUR game on ground of OUR choosing.
Problem is Counter Insurgency is SLOW and painful. Often a case of 3 steps forward, two steps back. One has to wonder if the American people have either the emotional maturity, nor the intellect” to understand. It’s so much easier to spew made for TV slogans like “No Blood for Oil” or “We support the Troops, bring them home” or dumbest of all “We are creating terrorists” then to actually THINK.
Westerners in general, and the US citizens in particular seem to have trouble grasping the fundamental fact of this foe. These Islamic Fascists have NO desire to co-exist with them. The extremists see all this PC posturing by the Hysteric Left as a sign that we are weak. Since they want us dead, weakness encourages them. There is simply no way to coexist with people who completely believe their “god” will reward them for killing us.
So we can covert to Islam, die or kill them. Iraq is about killing enough of them to make the rest of the Jihadists realize we are serious. They same way killing enough Germans, Italians and Japanese eliminated the ideologies of Nazism, Fascism and Bushido.
Americans need to understand how Bin Laden and his ilk view us. In the Arab world the USA is considered a big wimp. We have run away so many times. Lebanon, the Kurds, the Iraqis in 1991, the Iranians, Somalia, Clinton all thru the 1990s etc etc etc. The Jihadists think we will run again. In fact they are counting on it. That way they can run around screaming “We beat the American just like the Russians, come join us in Jihad” and recruit the next round of “holy warriors”. Iraq is also a show place where we show the Muslim world that there are a lines they cannot cross. On 9-11-01 they crossed that line and we can, and will, destroy them for it -
If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
Whatever. We still need to take out Sadr, ‘Nutjob, Assad, and Lil’ Kim. And THEN we can move on to lead toys from china, and late night analysis from Kato Kaelin.
Wonder where Jay Rockefeller, Kennedy and Oscar Wyatt fit into this.
This is a BS story because Saddam could have gone to exile even after we invaded but he chose to walk around and make tapes about how he was still in charge.
My wife went shopping and told me that all those boxes saved us about $100! :)
Thank you for your rational perspective!!
An even better post!
someone should start a website to counter the downingstreetmemos one.
He's a libertarian.
Yes, I remember this story from way back.
why are posting this to me?
I was just pointing out that the poster was factually correct about the monetary expenditures in Iraq.
huh? how am i being intellectually dishonest?
I hear you.
It’s interesting who gets swayed...
Stephanopoulos: Dollars and human costs.
Rumsfeld: Well, the lesser important is the cost in dollars. Human life is a treasure. The Office of Management and Budget estimated it would be something under 50 billion dollars.
Stephanopoulos: Outside estimates say up to 300 billion.
Rumsfeld: Baloney. How much of that would be paid by the United States, how much by other countries is an open question. But if you think about it, September 11th, besides the 3,000 lives, cost this country hundreds of billions of dollars. So, yes, measure the risk of acting, but also the risk of not acting. And if we suffered a biological September 11th, the cost would just be many, many, many multiples of any conflict.
Actually Rumsfeld was spot on. It cost us 50 billion to catch Saddam. The rest is nation building.
Even with Saddam gone, Iraq would have become a powder keg. His non-democratic successors would have been unable to keep the Shiites down and to deal with Iranian encroachment / infiltration.
So in the end, what we have now is probably better than the alternative: a nuke-seeking Iran dominating the Gulf and its oil, with a weak and unstable terrorist haven [Iraq] next door.
It starts with F and ends with E (wink wink, nudge nudge).
Considering the current geographic ignorance of much of the U.S. (and its elected Representatives), the question almost answers itself...to them, Iraq might as well be next to Okinawa!
911 attack estimated costs were well over a trillion dollars for the US economy.
“Bush even wanted to soften the rivalry with Chirac, and thought he was being ill-advised. He even asked Aznar to send the French president his best wishes, since Aznar was going to meet him in the next days.
As I said, I’ll try to have the full translation, but this is the gist of it. Clearly this is not an equivalent to the Downing Street memo, but a leak from a Zapatero administration official to an anti-Bush, anti-Aznar newspaper in the hope of embarrassing the two, and atrociously translated to make it all look worse. But I’m sorry to say they only embarrassed themselves. No matter how much you spin it, the memorandum shows exactly the opposite to what they say it shows. In layman terms, they got hoisted by their own petard.”
Flopping Aces and others are all over this.
I will leave Iraq and take the WMD's for....1....BILLION DOLLARS!!!
He was "exiled" to Hades...
Where would Saddam have gone......
With a billion bucks he could come and live in my basement, but of course he would have to live by my rules, no cooking WMDS on my stove and no taking potshots at my ceilings.